New rules to limit team owners

In a little-known codicil to the 2006 rules book, NASCAR executives are trying to limit car owners to four teams by precisely pinning down business relationships between various stock-car teams – like the joint engine operation run by Robert Yates and Jack Roush, the engine-and-engineering support provided by Rick Hendrick to MB2 Motorsports and Haas Racing, the engine-and-engineering support provided by Joe Gibbs to new team owners Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach. The sport's Daytona bosses are also trying to pin down the roles that carmakers – GM, Ford, Dodge and Toyota – are allowed, in advance of Toyota's step up to Nextel Cup next season. And it appears that NASCAR may want to demand access to tax records to pin down just who owns what and who pays whom how much. The surprising new rules – apparently out since February but not in wide distribution until this week – are generating a lot of head-scratching among the few who are familiar with them. A number of key figures expressed astonishment yesterday when asked about the rules. More at the Winston Salem Journal

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